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Three people shot, one dead after alleged botched drug deal in St. Pete

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Published Aug. 10, 2013

ST. PETERSBURG — A failed robbery during a drug deal turned fatal early Friday when three people were shot at a home on 21st Street N, police said.

Officers were called to 4313 21st St. N for a report of shots fired at 1:54 a.m. They found a 21-year-old man shot outside the home and two men, ages 28 and 22, shot inside, according to police.

The 28-year-old man, Daniel Brown III, was pronounced dead at the scene. The other two men were transported to a local hospital.

A preliminary investigation indicates that Brown was trying to rob the two other men during a drug deal, police said. The 21-year-old, identified as the renter of the home, Ryan Jaeger, pulled out his own gun and shots were fired, police said.

St. Petersburg police Maj. Mike Kovacsev said investigators recovered three or four guns in the home, as well as cocaine, marijuana and some prescription drugs.

"On the surface right now, it appears it's going to be drug related," Kovacsev said. "There is quite a substantial amount of drugs in the residence."

He said police believe a second robber fled the scene.

Officers began interviewing the two shooting victims who were hospitalized early Friday morning, Kovacsev said.

The 22-year-old victim is Charles Hernandez, a friend of Jaeger, said police spokesman Mike Puetz.

A third person in the house who was not hurt is being treated as a witness, Kovacsev said.